Depression Screening And Treatment
Lowers Employer Costs
treating workplace depression can lead to increased productivity and a
decrease in employer costs, according to a new study funded by the
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
evidence from previous studies determined that depression can lead to
lower productivity and increased absenteeism, implementing screening
programs would offer employer’s an undetermined benefit.
divided 604 clinically depressed workers into two groups. One group was
given an intervention by phone, in person, or with antidepressant
drugs. The other group received the usual care of feedback about their
the supported group was 40 percent more likely to be in recovery than
the control group. The intervention group also worked an average of two
hours longer per week and were 70 percent more likely to continue
employment than the other group.
hours worked by the intervention group averaged approximately $1,800
per employee each year, which offsets the few hundred dollars for the
prevention and treatment program, according to researchers.
affects not only a person’s health, but also his or her
to work," said Dr. Philip Wang, director of NIMH’s division
services and intervention research. "Employers should consider a
depression screening and intervention program as a healthy, win-win
National Institute of Mental Health, 6001 Executive Blvd., Rockville,
MD 20852; (866) 615-6464, www.nimh.nih.gov.